The Dead C

The Dead C

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After a period of relative silence, the Dead C came back in 2000 with their most monstrous release yet, a two-CD self-titled collection with each disc running over an hour, drawn from four years' worth of sessions from 1995 to 1999. The trio of Bruce Russell, Michael Morley, and Robbie Yeats continues to embrace lengthy and often intriguingly dank and dark improvisations, but there's a definite sense here of a bit of structure being a running theme (even if the lack of specific dating for tracks means there's no exact way to tell if this was a conscious evolution). Often this is just provided by the inclusion of a looped sample from Morley. "Pussyfooting," likely enough a reference to the noted Fripp/Eno collaboration "No Pussyfooting," has a small flanged guitar part that loops throughout its length, even as other snarling riffs and cymbal clashes build up a lingering air of threat toward an almost metronomic end. "Fake Electronics" is another highlight, with a series of low tones added about five minutes in with a combination drum/guitar clang rhythm that results in a track both enervating and energetic. Shifting to an even quieter and creepier ending makes it all the more noteworthy. The shorter numbers make their own amount of noise -- "Realisation con Slider" may or may not be a tribute to the T. Rex song (which makes sense given the cover of "Children of the Revolution" elsewhere), but it's still a clangorously good time. The lengthy monster track this time out is "SpeederBot" -- at 33 minutes, a varied enough exploration -- but "Drillbit" is the most focused of the lengthy numbers, a steady slow grind of a death march that turns into a crumbling feedback/drone conclusion. Best song title: "Tuba Is Funny (Slight Return)."